Thursday, July 07, 2005

Just some quick thoughts

1. I just want to publicly welcome back Bottle Caps candy to broad availability. A hard candy, the shape and consistency of a SweetTarts, but formed to resemble a bottle cap. The come in the flavors of, in order of increasing palatability: cherry, grape, orange, cola, and root beer. I remember there being a lemon-lime flavor when I was kid.

I was big into Bottle Caps during my junior high school years, but sometime between tenth grade and last summer, they fell off of my radar. You'd find them occasionally in a big Halloween assortment bag, but never on a rack somewhere.

Sometime last year, I found them a dollar store; I figured Nestle was going to make them a down-scale brand. Then, this year, they appeared at Target and ShopKo for around eighty-nine cents. Another of my addictions renewed. All I could ask for now would be a box of just root beer flavored, just like in the old days.

2. I'll admit that I am not a fan of Japanese comic books. I normally find the art unappealing and that makes me not want to read the words. However, I'd been hearing nothing but good reviews about one titled "Iron Wok Jan," so I decided to try the first volume.

I'll be damned if it isn't a great comic book. In concept, it shouldn't work as a comic book: The story is about apprentice chefs, primarily the talented, egocentric Jan Akiyama, but it does. Jan is not a sympathetic character, yet I pull for him to win the many cooking contests he enters. This is a Japanese comic book that, except for translation into English, retains those aspects, right down to reading the pages from right to left, yet, I've learned a lot about Japanese cooking and culture.

It is not a cheap comic, each volume is about ten dollars, but worth the cost. There have been thirteen volumes in the U.S., so far, with more to come. You can get a taste of a typical story here. Be warned, it is in pdf format.

3. Not to beat a dead horse, but let me state again how much I love LEGO Star Wars.
  • How can you not like a game that lets you put mustaches on all the characters? If you don't think seeing Chewbacca or a clone trooper with a big, black mustache isn't funny, then we've nothing to talk about.
  • Yoda is a freaking dervish with a light saber. Hard to control, but a "mighty warrior."
  • More importantly, however, is how the game maintains the Jedi creed by requiring you to collect as many coins as possible, allowing you to buy other characters. Mercenary work and slavery, those are the ways of the Jedi.